Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


38th Annual Convention; Seattle, WA; 2012

Event Details

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Invited Symposium #404
CE Offered: PSY
Bill Hopkins: A Model for Dissemination
Monday, May 28, 2012
3:30 PM–4:50 PM
6A (Convention Center)
Area: OBM/CSE; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Mark P. Alavosius (University of Nevada, Reno)
Discussant: Mark P. Alavosius (University of Nevada, Reno)
CE Instructor: Mark P. Alavosius, Ph.D.

Dr. Bill Hopkin's career is a model for sustained dissemination of behavior analysis. His enduring lifetime contributions, unsung by Bill, provide many examples of large-scale applications of behavior analysis that span decades and hemispheres. This session describes his substantial contributions to organizational behavior management, occupational safety, community development, university instruction and more. His skillful promotion of our science and its applications stands as a model for the next generation of unsung heroes that will continue expansion of behavior analysis and build on the foundations laid down by our pioneers.

Instruction Level: Basic
Keyword(s): Bill Hopkins
Target Audience:

ABA supervisors, Administrators, Behavior analysts, Behavioral consultants, Behavioral psychologists, Educational service providers, Educators/teachers, Students, Psychologists, Researchers

Learning Objectives: #none#

Bill Hopkins and the OBM Culture: Doing Good on a Grand Scale

THOMAS C. MAWHINNEY (University of Detroit Mercy)

Bill Hopkins was an accomplished overt and behind the scenes leader within the OBM culture. Upon reflection I can see that his work with and contributions to our culture were presaged by his history of work with a "mental" health hospital. His contribution to Control of Human Behavior: From Cure To Prevention (Ulrich, Stachnik & Mabry, 1970) entitled The First 20 Years Are the Hardest leaves no doubt that Bill "cared" for the quality of life among others and the effects of large scale institutional practices on the quality of those lives. It should come as no surprise, therefore, that Bill used his expertise in applied behavior analysis (aka OBM) to create large scale high impact contingencies of reinforcement resulting improved rates of safe behavior among working people and thereby reducing accidents and injuries among them (Fox, Hopkins, and Anger, 1987). I believe, based on Bill's interests expressed in JOBM that Bill's interest in large scale interventions arose from (among other reasons) a belief that improvements in organizational members' productivity should be fairly shared among members of formal organizations. If so, then pay plays a role in the OBM "equation." And Bill saw to it that we paid attention to the issue of pay practices (Hopkins & Mawhinney, 1992). In this talk I review and express my appreciation of Bill's unique contributions to the OBM culture in the pages of JOBM as well other venues (e.g., Cambridge Center for Behavior Studies), time permitting.

Professor Mawhinney teaches organizational behavior, organizational theory & design, human resource management and strategic management. He has published research concerning reinforcement, work motivation and leadership in the Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior and Journal of Organizational Behavior Management, conceptual analysis of work motivation and reinforcement processes in the Academy of Management Review, Journal of Applied Psychology, Organizational Behavior and Human Performance, Performance Improvement Quarterly, and applied research concerning performance improvement in the Journal of Business and Psychology and JOBM. Mawhinney received his B.A. and M.S. degrees from the University of South Florida and his Ph.D. from The Ohio State University. He joined the University of Detroit in 1987.

Bill Hopkins' Legacy Leading the Italian BBS Community

FABIO TOSOLIN (Association for the Advancement of Radical Behavior Analysis)

Bill Hopkins began to be a reference for the Italian OBM community since the early 1980s. His article on “Managing Behavior for Productivity” has been a must for the very few OBM’ers (B.L. Hopkins & J. Sears, in “Handbook of Organizational Behavior Management”, edited by L.W. Frederiksen, 1982). Nevertheless, the growth of Behavior Analysis applied to the workplace became suddenly wide and pervasive starting from his speech at the 2nd European Conference on BBS, on 2007. Surely, as an invited speaker, Bill delighted an audience of entrepreneurs with his colloquial, simple and direct approach. However, nobody knew how much its contribution would be huge after the conference, much more than during it! During his sojourn, he simply planned to change the world of safety in Italy. Consequently, he asked to meet the people active in the field of Behavior Analysis in Italy and the most prominent authorities, able to change the widest contingencies insisting on the European safety managers and consultants. He managed in order to be in touch with the local committees involved in safety and in making decisions about it, and he agreed on becoming a member of some of these committees. Further, he compelled the Italian ABA community to change its view in marketing BBS, e.g. warning the Italian behaviorists to train engineers, not the psychologists. Simultaneously, he began to support the development of regulations and legislative initiatives based on the principles of behavior, aware of the fact that teaching and presenting, in itself, would only pale antecedents, leading to a small number of apostles, and nothing more. Finally, he understood the local environment and culture, prompting and mentoring the Italian colleagues in order to get a rigorous BBS accreditation and certification being careful to avoid abuses and misconceptions. As a result, Italian Association for Behavior Analysis got two medal by the President of the Italian Republic for spreading BBS, and the Senate asked for a formal presentation of the principles of our science applied to the work safety. Bill was great in evaluating the effects of large scale institutional practices and in arranging circumstances for a broad dissemination of OBM and BBS, as nobody else. Its ability to look ahead and prepare the conditions to change the culture of an entire nation has been incredible. The fruits of his strategic mind will continue to be for many years to come.

Ever since the 1980s, Fabio Tosolin was the pioneer of the Organizational Behavior Management (OBM) and Performance Management (PM) methodologies in Italy. In the 1990s, he applied the Lindsley's Precision Teaching (PT) and Fluency Building Approach to the rapidly growing up e-learning in the workplace. Finally, he introduced the Behavior-Based Safety (B-BS) protocol in the Italian and European industries. Dr. Tosolin is the president of Fabio Tosolin & Associates, the italian company for Behavioral Performance Management, Behavior-Based Safety and PT/e-learning. He is currently Professor of Health, Safety, Environment & Quality at the Milan Polytechnic, Faculty of Engineering of the Industrial Processess. He is also a professor at the University of Ferrara, Faculty of Medicine. Dr. Tosolin is President of the Association for Advancement of Radical Behavior Analysis (AARBA), the Italian Chapter of ABA International, and the Italian project leader in the European ManuVAR Consortium for the development of industrial work in Europe. Additionally, he serves as advisor of the CCBS - Massachusetts, the main independent Institute for Behavior Analysis and Behavior-Based Safety.

Bill Hopkins' Outreach to Improve the Lives of Workers Through Safety

SANDY KNOTT (Supervalu, Inc.)

SuperValu’s Advanced Logistics MDRC’s Illinois distribution center has been accredited by the Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies since 2005 for application of behavioral principles within management of worker safety. The accreditation was earned after MRDC successfully implemented SuperValu’s Critical Activities Management (CAM) program, which uses systematic feedback and positive reinforcement to strengthen safe workplace practices. Following CAM implementation, MRDC noted a reduction in OSHA frequency rates from 13.1 to 0.0 and a reduction in severity rates from 1.6 to 0.0. This extraordinary achievement was enabled by the many efforts of Dr. Bill Hopkins who advised and mentored us. His work with the Commission for the Accreditation of Behavioral Applications to Safety within the Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies guided our efforts to develop safety management at the Advanced Logistics MDRC’s Illinois distribution center. Since 2005, Bill's extensive volunteer efforts with SuperValu went far beyond the distribution center outside Chicago. More sites within SuperValu's vast supply chain are following the lead of MRDC. In 2010, Dr. Hopkins organized and led a think-tank on disseminating innovation throughout SuperValu (180,000 employees) that was attended by 20 corporate executives. His actions have made a lasting impact on our organization.

Sandy Knott is the Risk Control Manager for SuperValu's Advanced Logistics MDRC's Illinois distribution center.  She has received the Principles of Behavior Based Safety accreditation from the Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies. The accreditation was earned after MRDC successfully implemented Supervalu's Critical Activities Management (CAM) program, which uses systematic feedback and positive reinforcement to strengthen safe workplace practices. Following CAM implementation, MRDC noted a reduction in OSHA frequency rates from 13.1 to 0.0 and a reduction in severity rates from 1.6 to 0.0. The Cambridge Center's accreditation process evaluates before and after measures of workplace safety following implementation of programs and evaluates that data for effectiveness.



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